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John Pinkerton
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 151 pages of information about Early Australian Voyages.
cocoa-nuts, and a hundred bags of pysanghs or Indian figs.  When we first began to trade with these people, one of our seamen was wounded by an arrow that one of the natives let fly, either through malice or inadvertency.  We were at that very juncture endeavouring to bring our ships close to the shore, which so terrified these islanders, that they brought of their own accord on board us, the man who had shot the arrow and left him at our mercy.  We found them after this accident much more tractable than before in every respect.  Our sailors, therefore, pulled off the iron hoops from some of the old water-casks, stuck them into wooden handles, and filing them to an edge, sold these awkward knives to the inhabitants for their fruits.

In all probability they had not forgot what happened to our people on July 16th, 1616, in the days of William Schovten:  these people, it seems, treated him very ill; upon which James le Maire brought his ship close to the shore, and fired a broadside through the woods; the bullets, flying through the trees, struck the negroes with such a panic, that they fled in an instant up into the country, and durst not show their heads again till they had made full satisfaction for what was past, and thereby secured their safety for the time to come; and he traded with them afterwards very peaceably, and with mutual satisfaction.

This account of our author’s seems to have been taken upon memory, and is not very exact.  Schovten’s seamen, or rather the petty officer who commanded his long boat, insulted the natives grossly before they offered any injury to his people; and then, notwithstanding they fired upon them with small arms, the islanders obliged them to retreat; so that they were forced to bring the great guns to bear upon the island before they could reduce them.  These people do not deserve to be treated as savages, because Schovten acknowledges that they had been engaged in commerce with the Spaniards; as appeared by their having iron pots, glass beads, and pendants, with other European commodities, before he came thither.  He also tells us that they were a very civilised people, their country well cultivated and very fruitful; that they had a great many boats, and other small craft, which they navigated with great dexterity.  He adds also, that they gave him a very distinct account of the neighbouring islands, and that they solicited him to fire upon the Arimoans, with whom it seems they are always at war; which, however, he refused to do, unless provoked to it by some injury offered by those people.  It is therefore very apparent that the inhabitants of Moa are a people with whom any Europeans, settled in their neighbourhood, might without any difficulty settle a commerce, and receive considerable assistance from them in making discoveries.  But perhaps some nations are fitter for these kind of expeditions than others, as being less apt to make use of their artillery and small arms upon every little

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